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Living on a boat in Galway

  • 31-03-2019 11:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    Just wondering if anyone knows anything about liveaboards in Galway. I'm looking into getting a boat and living on it in or around the city - a barge or a motor cruiser I reckon. I've asked two councillors on the board of Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees, they actually didn't know what the story was and haven't gotten back to me after over a week.

    I know that it's not illegal, no real legislation around it - just wondering about places I could moor (the marina said they don't allow it), that kind of thing. If you or anyone you know has lived on a boat in Galway or just knows the story with local mooring spots and how this might work, I'd really appreciate any info you have!

    Cheers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    Malonruil wrote: »
    Just wondering if anyone knows anything about liveaboards in Galway. I'm looking into getting a boat and living on it in or around the city - a barge or a motor cruiser I reckon. I've asked two councillors on the board of Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees, they actually didn't know what the story was and haven't gotten back to me after over a week.

    I know that it's not illegal, no real legislation around it - just wondering about places I could moor (the marina said they don't allow it), that kind of thing. If you or anyone you know has lived on a boat in Galway or just knows the story with local mooring spots and how this might work, I'd really appreciate any info you have!

    Cheers.

    It's essentially not possible, no facilities (power, water, sewage removal etc.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,785 ✭✭✭✭ flazio


    Plus, whenever there's an orange or red level weather warning, you seriously thinking you'll be allowed to stay on your vessel?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    JohnCleary wrote: »
    It's essentially not possible, no facilities (power, water, sewage removal etc.)

    I don't know about that John, surely other boats around Galway have no problem getting water - I would think that the marina sells water for example, coming in and out every now and then to fill up wouldn't be a problem. They also have sewage outflow services ot my knowledge, although marine composting heads are the best option there in my opinion because they don't smell (unlike chemical toilets with sewage tanks). Just a matter of emptying the waste legally and sealed in the airtight containers into a bin when full.

    Power, that point seems to be more you asking what people on boats do to generate power in general I think - they use either solar panels or run a diesel engine, some use a combination of both (I'd use solar panels and know how many I need already to power the whole boat plus 24/7 wifi and laptop for work, very easily done).


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    flazio wrote: »
    Plus, whenever there's an orange or red level weather warning, you seriously thinking you'll be allowed to stay on your vessel?

    I don't know who you thought was going to be telling me that I'm not "allowed" to be on my own barge during a storm!

    Generally speaking if I wanted to leave the boat and stay somewhere else, for any reason, I could drive to a mates house, visit the parents, or check into a hotel, but there's no need to do that for your average storm, this would be a large steel boat securely moored to a pier I'm on about.

    Weather warnings usually come with Waterways Ireland telling people to be careful not to lose their footing when coming and going from boats. There's certainly no law or bylaw telling people whether they're allowed to be on a boat during a weather warning (of course they're allowed like) - not sure if that's what you were getting at there or not.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/weather/2018/1010/1002201-met-eireann-issues-a-status-orange-weather-warning/

    If anyone here actually has any boating experience, give me a shout - I've posted in the relevant board, just thought there might be a few Galway heads who know good spots to moor. Cheers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭ Psychlops


    Have you contacted the Port Of Galway & or Harbour Master or talked to local fishermen down at The Claddagh or the Lay-by's around the Docks itself?

    IIRC there is a steel boat in Lough Atalia near the EYE Cinema, not sure if it is lived on but IIRC there was a thread here about it being occupied & said person posting here too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 977 ✭✭✭ cfeeneyinterior




  • Registered Users Posts: 897 shenanagans


    There was a mooring for sale in that area a few months ago. It's not on daft anymore so assume it sold or there was no interest. I think it was around 70k if my memory services me correctly...but not certain. If people are doing airbnb and are paying fees for mooring in the docks then maybe someone bought it ...if it's financially worthwhile??

    You can moor a boat if you have a site/mooring. But it's not something you can do for free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,329 ✭✭✭✭ ben.schlomo


    Psychlops wrote: »
    Have you contacted the Port Of Galway & or Harbour Master or talked to local fishermen down at The Claddagh or the Lay-by's around the Docks itself?

    IIRC there is a steel boat in Lough Atalia near the EYE Cinema, not sure if it is lived on but IIRC there was a thread here about it being occupied & said person posting here too.
    Ya the boat in Lough Atalia is still there and there's activity from time to time when I pass. Worth a trip out to talk to them possibly OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 659 ✭✭✭ Roadtoad


    There's a boating thread on Boards that would be more focused, it's full of nautical experts , and a few spoofers.

    (edit, I see you posted there too)


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    Malonruil wrote: »
    If anyone here actually has any boating experience

    :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,964 ✭✭✭ Ficheall


    Malonruil wrote: »
    If anyone here actually has any boating experience, give me a shout
    I think JohnCleary took the Corrib Princess tour recently - you could ask him.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,274 ✭✭✭ Cheshire Cat


    There's a Galway houseboat advertised on Air B&B. Contact the owners. They may be able to answer your questions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,743 ✭✭✭✭ zell12


    ‘Floating’ accommodation for students 2017
    Winters Property Management says it could have two barges – but acknowledges that it could be 2018 before permissions are secured. Location had to be found and necessary permissions sought for mooring.
    Galway harbourmaster said the existing docks would not be suitable. The Mud Dock is privately-owned. It has several vessels berthed there which are fitted out for tourist accommodation.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko




  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    Ficheall wrote: »
    I think JohnCleary took the Corrib Princess tour recently - you could ask him.

    To be fair I wouldn't have much clue about the boating scene in Galway / West of Ireland







    :pac::pac::pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭ xckjoo


    I've little direct knowledge, so maybe best to skip the rest of this post :pac:
    I have heard berthing fees are quite high in the Docks. Good location though! Galway waterways are supposed to be an administrative mess, with some ungodly number of bodies have some say in them. This seems to have resulted in nobody taking any ownership. Probably why the councillors you talked to didn't know anything.
    Someone out there will be able to advise you, but finding that person might be tough. I'd definitely check out the Harbour Master first to see if Docks is a possibility. They might be able to offer alternatives, or at least point you towards someone else that knows.


  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ buzz11


    Malonruil wrote: »
    Just wondering if anyone knows anything about liveaboards in Galway.


    Are you talking about mooring a boat on the river or sea?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    You're alright John, you probably know more about boats in general than I do all the same! Cheers for the input.

    Xckjoo, it's a crazy mess alright! I've spoken to three different groups, some of them are responsible for just navigation, just special fishing permits, etc. They all seem to be saying you can't live on a boat in Galway, but when pressed they admit that it's not their place to tell someone they can't do it either. Complicated.

    The Harbour Master said no liveaboards allowed in his area - lovely guy, he did point me towards a few other people like the councilors and I'm going from there.

    Buzz, I was aiming for the river but it might be easier to get a private dock owner to agree. I haven't bought the boat and have a specific big family barge in mind, but might have to downsize to a motor cruiser and go for a sea mooring at this rate. In fairness, I've only spoken to people online so far and a few mates who are into sailing, need to just go around the docks and sailing clubs and chat to a few more locals about it when I have time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    OK, sarcasm aside....

    Galway is not suitable for liveaboards, for logistical / infrastructural reasons. It's simply not possible, IMHO.

    Let's divide up to 2 sections....

    1) Sea / Docks
    2) River

    1) As you've already been told, liveboards are not allowed within Galway Harbour Marina. However, there is water / power / pump-out facilities for facilitate visitors, so if it was going to be anywhere, it would be there.

    Other posts' refer to a boat / liveaboard down the Docks. This is the 'old Docks', which is leased out by Galway Harbour Company. I don't know the nitty details of the lease agreement, but the plan was to put a restaurant there (which didn't work out) and lately has been for sale on Daft stating lease costs etc. - This would be the 2nd choice but again is going to be tricky as no fresh water source, no power, no pump-out facilities. You'll also be sharing the area with rats etc. and be exposed to the elements.

    The barge in question is located at inner Lough Atalia, at a really old pier, next to a (now hopefully un-used) pumping station where raw sewage used to be pumped out. It's not a place i'd like to call home. I don't know what agreement the barge owner has with land-owners / Galway Harbour Company (The harbour company are in control to the waters edge, then presumably City Council)

    2) The river (upstream of Salmon Weir / canal) is simply a no-go... again, there are no facilities. To be blunt, you seem a bit naive in the necessity of these facilities. You're not going to live off solar panels (be realistic), you're not going to take your porta-potty to an emptying facility every day (where is that facility??) and where are you going to fill your water tanks?

    Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees are indeed in control of the areas I mention above. The issue is that it's a total sh1tshow, composed of members of Galway City / Galway County / Mayo Council... main reason for people being on this board is for expenses, they have no interest / knowledge of the water.

    A boat club located on the river which houses motor-boats does not accept liveaboards and is full; you can't bring a cruiser in there in the first place, never mind a liveaboard.

    Physically, there is no-where on the river to dump a barge / liveaboard. Given that we're in a housing crisis, do you not think everyone would be doing it, if it were possible? The bank is just not suitable to simply tie up. You can't build a pontoon as Lough Corrib is an SAC (Special Area of Conservation), which means building *anything* is almost impossible. I hate this, personally... it stops progression. The river / lake is such an amazing potential amenity, but without basic facilities like jetty's / power / water / pump-out, progression cannot happen.


    If this seems harsh, i'm just bring bluntly honest. If you really want to live on a liveaboard, you can do so on the Shannon with correct permits etc. although if located at public jetty's, you will still be liable to the 5-day (or is it 3-day?) rule. The liveaboard permit comes into play during winter months. I do expect you'll find marinas on the Shannon that will facilitate liveaboards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    John, thanks a million for the info (confirmed, you definitely know a lot more than myself!).

    100% certain that solar panels are enough for me to both live off of and operate a remote online business that requires constant internet access, that's pretty much the only area I've had professional advice on and had a list of wattage requirements and parts done up. Even in winter there would be an excess of power that wouldn't be used (cooking and heating water with gas).

    On literally everything else, you're right, I think I have underestimated the difficulty of supplying the boat with all the necessary facilities. The composting toilet seals waste in disposable airtight containers that can be reordered, and they can be legally disposed of in public bins. Water, I guess I could bring it bulk in the car and load it on. All a bit of a pain - maybe doable, maybe not. I've lived in squats and communes in Ireland and abroad with a pretty low/no-tech approach to everything. I spend a few months in a commune in the Amazon rainforest, we used to use collect and use water from the river for everything - I wouldn't be afraid of doing a bit of hard work to make it happen, but maybe it's just not realistic all the same.

    As you also pointed out, finding a place to moor is a real problem - every Galway authority I've spoken to is also quite opposed to the idea. I need to speak to a few more people in person I think, but it may not be possible at the moment, which is a shame. I wouldn't be willing to live on the Shannon, my parents are on the east edge of Connemara and they need me around.

    Oh well! I'll see what I can do. Could always just get myself some land, it's definitely a better investment, but I'll keep looking into this for now, haven't given up on it yet. That was super helpful John, food for thought - thanks again, and apologies for my first comment about people who know boats, I didn't realize you were so up to speed on it all! Cheers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 659 ✭✭✭ Roadtoad


    A caravan in one of many parks? More space, mobility and comfort, less romance.

    Less 'end of project blight' when you or the final owner rides into the sunset. The Shannon and many gardens and fields are full of last years dreams.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,454 ✭✭✭ Storm 10


    The guy on the barge in Lough Atalia purchased it and was to turn it into a floating restaurant, original plan was to moor it in the Claddagh basin but typical it's full of objectors by people who think the own the place, that's Galway for you always some group objecting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    Roadtoad wrote: »
    A caravan in one of many parks? More space, mobility and comfort, less romance.

    Less 'end of project blight' when you or the final owner rides into the sunset. The Shannon and many gardens and fields are full of last years dreams.

    Ah, I'd sooner buy land and a build a house I think, I'll get on it in the next few months if I can't sort the boat. Off-grid yurt on site in the meantime maybe - but I'll speak to a few more locals about facilities and berths for boats first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    Malonruil wrote: »
    John, thanks a million for the info (confirmed, you definitely know a lot more than myself!).

    100% certain that solar panels are enough for me to both live off of and operate a remote online business that requires constant internet access, that's pretty much the only area I've had professional advice on and had a list of wattage requirements and parts done up. Even in winter there would be an excess of power that wouldn't be used (cooking and heating water with gas).

    On literally everything else, you're right, I think I have underestimated the difficulty of supplying the boat with all the necessary facilities. The composting toilet seals waste in disposable airtight containers that can be reordered, and they can be legally disposed of in public bins. Water, I guess I could bring it bulk in the car and load it on. All a bit of a pain - maybe doable, maybe not. I've lived in squats and communes in Ireland and abroad with a pretty low/no-tech approach to everything. I spend a few months in a commune in the Amazon rainforest, we used to use collect and use water from the river for everything - I wouldn't be afraid of doing a bit of hard work to make it happen, but maybe it's just not realistic all the same.

    As you also pointed out, finding a place to moor is a real problem - every Galway authority I've spoken to is also quite opposed to the idea. I need to speak to a few more people in person I think, but it may not be possible at the moment, which is a shame. I wouldn't be willing to live on the Shannon, my parents are on the east edge of Connemara and they need me around.

    Oh well! I'll see what I can do. Could always just get myself some land, it's definitely a better investment, but I'll keep looking into this for now, haven't given up on it yet. That was super helpful John, food for thought - thanks again, and apologies for my first comment about people who know boats, I didn't realize you were so up to speed on it all! Cheers.

    I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you're trying to achieve. I'm very pro anything to do with boats / water and in a way i'm ashamed that Galway has taken such little advantage of an amazing amenity on our doorstep.

    As was mentioned above, you'll face nothing but objection in Galway. Christ, if you moved the Galway population to Amsterdam and started fresh, there'd be people objecting to live-aboards along the canals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭ ingalway


    There are 2 boats that have been moored for a long time at that small basin on the corner of Dock Street/Long Walk. One has a pink and white canopy. I'm fairly sure people were living on at least one of them, I think they moved out Dec/Jan time.Not sure if anyone else living there now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭ xckjoo


    ingalway wrote: »
    There are 2 boats that have been moored for a long time at that small basin on the corner of Dock Street/Long Walk. One has a pink and white canopy. I'm fairly sure people were living on at least one of them, I think they moved out Dec/Jan time.Not sure if anyone else living there now.


    Came here to say the same. There's been a few over the years. I think one was a cafe for a while. What about Oranmore direction? Sailing club is out Maree direction.

    It's a pity we don't make more use of all the water that's all around us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,454 ✭✭✭ Storm 10


    We have the most beautiful Bay on our door step and every where you turn there is an obstacle put in place to stop you enjoying the Bay, you are banned from launching speed boats and jet skis in Galway Bay and Lough Corrib, go any where else and you will see boats and jet skis in places like Dun Laoighre, Malahide, Kinsale, Cork every where but Galway, all they need to do is put a ban on how close th the shore you can use your boat. Go out to Salthill on a fine Summers Day and I can assure you that will be hard pushed to see a boat when it should be full of them. :mad::mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Malonruil


    I know, it's gorgeous! I wasn't aware that the regs were so different in Galway. I was thinking of getting a boat in Cork when I lived there, probably for the best that I held off as I would have assumed that it was no different up here.

    Delighted to be back in Galway like, but it's a crying shame about the lack of activity on the water alright. I used to do a lot of rowing, I'd love to get back out on the river again, mad that there are so many different authorities controlling the Corrib haha - must pop down to the sailing clubs and ask around about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,118 ✭✭✭✭ JohnCleary


    ingalway wrote: »
    There are 2 boats that have been moored for a long time at that small basin on the corner of Dock Street/Long Walk. One has a pink and white canopy. I'm fairly sure people were living on at least one of them, I think they moved out Dec/Jan time.Not sure if anyone else living there now.
    xckjoo wrote: »
    Came here to say the same. There's been a few over the years. I think one was a cafe for a while. What about Oranmore direction? Sailing club is out Maree direction.

    It's a pity we don't make more use of all the water that's all around us.

    These boats are the ones mentioned previously. I believe an attempt to turn one into a restaurant but didn't work out. Was recently for sale on Daft (not sure if still there).
    Storm 10 wrote: »
    We have the most beautiful Bay on our door step and every where you turn there is an obstacle put in place to stop you enjoying the Bay, you are banned from launching speed boats and jet skis in Galway Bay and Lough Corrib, go any where else and you will see boats and jet skis in places like Dun Laoighre, Malahide, Kinsale, Cork every where but Galway, all they need to do is put a ban on how close th the shore you can use your boat. Go out to Salthill on a fine Summers Day and I can assure you that will be hard pushed to see a boat when it should be full of them. :mad::mad:
    +100

    Just to be specific... the CITY Council banned JetSki's from *RIVER* Corrib, not LOUGH Corrib. And to be pedantic, they only have control over the natural river, nothing man-made. So, legally, there is no legislation / bye-law stopping you from flying up the canal :pac: or on Friar's Cut (top section of the river, which is man made)

    JetSki's are not banned from Galway Bay (The inner bay is under the remit of Galway Harbour Company). What the City Council did was introduce a bye-law from launching at Claddagh slip-way and possibly other slipways which fall under their remit (they are in control to the high-water mark) - so, if you were waiting to launch and below the high-water mark, no warden can stop you.

    The slip-way at Galway Enterprise Park is privately owned. The owners essentially let people use it as a public slip-way until the incident up North. It is now locked, but a key is available from the Harbour Master once a liability disclaimer is signed, which, while a nuisance, is fair enough, given our claim culture.

    Regarding Oranmore direction, unfortunately it's a very ruggid (wrong spelling, you get my drift) shore-line.... you won't get much done out that way. Where GBSC is based, has a public, tidal pier which dries out. Space is a premium, you wouldn't be long getting moved on from there if you set-up as a liveaboard (you would be considered 'harbour hogging) - but doesn't matter as it dries, out, you'd be eating your dinner at a 45 degree angle.


    TLDR: Our local Government / Council / etc. have no interest in maritime infrastructure / facilities in Galway. It's a crying shame.... when i'd be out the bay I almost feel isolated, when by rights it should be packed with boats.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,298 ✭✭✭✭ bodhrandude


    Maybe at Kinvara OP, I know a few musicians who have boats berthed there, a short trip to Salthill across the water.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)



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